Where is Sandringham? The beautiful setting of the Queen's favourite Christmas retreat

Sandringham Estate is just one of Queen Elizabeth II’s six royal residences. The traditional country estate can be found in East Anglia and is a popular destination for the Royal Family over the Christmas season. With multiple homes and sprawling gardens located on the estate, what does the Queen’s festive retreat really look like during the winter?

Which English county is Sandringham in?

Sandringham House can be found on the Norfolk based estate just 200 miles North of London.

The hearty country estate came under Royal ownership in 1862 when it was purchased as the country residence for The Prince of Wales – the future King Edwards VII.

Set across 8,000 hectares, the estate is one of two personal and private residences owned by the Royal Family themselves, unlike royal palaces that belong to the Crown.

The Castle structure set on the land is home to the Queen and her family during seasonal periods, though the wider estate is home to many smaller properties and gardens.

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Sandringham first belonged to the Queen in 1952 when she inherited it from her father.

Since then, The Duke of Edinburgh took overall responsibility for its management though this is now in the hands of the Queen following her husband’s death.

The village of Sandringham is part of Her Majesty’s estate and can be found just seven miles north of King’s Lynn, set 37 miles north-west of Norwich.

Most of the local villagers are employees and pensioners of the Norfolk estate, resembling something of a fairy tale during the festive period.

With a flourishing village school and church close by, the estate offers an idyllic setting for the Royal Family to retreat from the pressures of royal duties in the city.

The regal interior is kept largely private though the Queen’s annual televised Christmas message has offered a glimpse into the family estate.

In 1957, Queen Elizabeth II gave her first televised Christmas message from Sandringham, marking the 25th anniversary of her father’s first festive radio broadcast.

Sat in a room filled with family photographs, the Queen said: “I wish you all, young and old, wherever you may be, all the fun and enjoyment and the peace of a very happy Christmas.”
Tall cabinets filled with family memories and long draping curtains can be pictured in the backdrop of the regal interior.

With reports of the Queen having flown back to the estate’s English Castle, there are questions over how long she plans to stay and when her extended family will be joining her for their first Christmas in the absence of Prince Phillip.

A royal source told the Mirror: “The Queen has many happy memories of being at Sandringham with the family over Christmas and was in the firm belief that she was far better off being there in person to oversee everything as much as possible.”

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